Selecting the right credit card for the right purchase can save you a very small portion of the money you spend each month. However, it comes at the danger of credit card debt. Credit card companies provide rewards in the hopes of encouraging revolvers (people who don’t pay off their credit card every month) and discouraging transactors (people who pay off their credit card every month). If you don’t currently pay off your full bill each month, we recommend getting out of credit card debt. Then, once you are out of credit card debt, consider reading this article.
Those who have read my other articles on credit cards know that I have been building my wallet of niche cards to produce the most savings. My article “Best Credit Cards of 2022 for Those with Excellent Credit” summarizes much of that advice.
At the time, my best card for food and grocery store purchases was the Capital One SavorOne Mastercard offering 3% cash back. This has been replaced by the Verizon Visa Credit Card, which offers 4% back on grocery store purchases and the same 3% back on dinning purchases. My best card for gasoline is the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Credit Card offering 5% back for gas, but the Verizon Visa credit card offers 4% making it a good alternative if you can’t qualify for the USAA card or you do not like using an American Express credit card. Using an American Express credit card at a gasoline pump often requires me to go into the store and put a charge on the card before pumping my gas. As much as I have tried to avoid this annoyance, I believe the issue is that many gasoline stations do not like the American Express card.
The Verizon Visa credit card has no annual fee.
To qualify for the card, you have to be a Verizon personal customer (a business account does not count).
Their current credit card welcome bonus is a $100 statement credit posted to your account within the next one or two billing cycles.
The card offers 4% cash back on grocery store and gas purchases, 3% on dining purchases including takeout, 2% on Verizon purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. This makes it among the best credit cards for grocery store, dinning, and gas purchases.
It is strange that paying for Verizon purchases only receives a 2% cash back while other items can receive 3% or 4% cash back. However, the rewards you receive are called “Verizon Dollars” and must be manually applied to your statement. I delayed applying any of the cash back rewards for over a year and had more than $400 when I finally applied the cash rewards to my statement.
As always, I recommend that you strive to turn off all the various marketing. When I tried, Verizon said that they only have the self-serve option of turning such marketing off. This option is available on your account Profile under “Privacy Preferences” at the very bottom of the screen. There, you can set to “Do not share.”
You have to do this periodically (every three years) in order to make sure that you avoid as much marketing as possible. I don’t think I can emphasize this enough, products and services that they have to advertise are not the best products and services, but if you see them you might be tempted to consider purchasing them.
I also set an alert to automatically notify me if I make any purchase. Having an alert every time I use my card has been the best fraud alert that I have found. Any time after using my credit card I will receive an email telling me that I made a purchase. This is quick enough that I have not forgotten about my purchase but delayed enough to remind me what my purchase costs. I also set email alerts if a credit is posted or a charge is declined.
I also set up auto pay to automatically pay from my checking account each month. As a requirement of receiving the discount, I was required to agree to paperless statements.
Verizon started the account with a $1,000 per month limit. I called them to have that limit increased but was declined. Verizon told me I don’t have enough history paying the card to increase the credit limit over $1,000. So I periodically called back to see if I had enough history yet. On the seventh time I was denied for a limit increase, I was told that you must have had the card six months before credit increases would even be considered.
In the meantime, I could still use the card for more than $1,000 per month by periodically logging onto the website and paying off the intra-month balance. If you spend more than $1,000 on groceries and gas in a month, this strategy allows you to use the card to its fullest while staying within the credit limit.
Since then, every six months, they have finally started increasing my credit limit, but the increases have been very small. It is almost as though use of this card is actively discouraged.
Their website is slow and cumbersome. Frequently I receive messages such as “We apologize our system is having technical difficulty retrieving your information. Please try again later.” Many features do not work as intended. Their phone support and chat are also extremely poor. Their system will tell you that you can’t increase your credit limit and their support staff will tell you that you will receive the reason in the mail. And when the mail comes, no reason is really given. There is nothing left for you to do to increase your credit limit.
The Verizon Visa Credit Card is issued by Synchrony Bank. This is the same bank which issues the eBay Mastercard.
On the one hand, since this card offers better rewards, it has replaced several other cards in my wallet. On the other hand, this card offers the lowest credit limit and some of the worst customer service I have every received.
Regardless, I have adopted this card as the primary one in my wallet for groceries and dinning, and for gasoline when I do not want to use an American Express credit card.
Background photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash. Screenshot of Verizon credit card from Verizon.com.